Culture Influencers: Barbara Elliott

Barbara ElliottDr. Barbara Elliott was the guest of honor at a recent breakfast attended by nearly 800 people to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the WorkFaith Connection. Dr. Elliott is the founder of this award-winning nonprofit, which helps people transition from homelessness, prison, addiction, or unemployment into a new job and a new life, anchored in Christ. Serving Houstonians for the past ten years, the WorkFaith Connection has graduated almost 4,000 people, more than half of whom had felonies in their past. Dr. Elliott designed this social entrepreneurial model to meet Houston’s needs, especially in minority communities. Nearly 80 percent of WorkFaith graduates are working today, breaking the cycle of addiction, crime, and incarceration.
To create this nonprofit, Dr. Elliott drew from the best practices of faith-based organizations throughout the nation she encountered while doing research for her book Street Saints: Renewing America’s Cities (Templeton Foundation Press). The WorkFaith Connection now serves from two Houston locations, with plans to construct a third in partnership with the Star of Hope in 2017. Dr. Elliott and the WorkFaith Connection previously won the Manhattan Institute’s Richard Cornuelle Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Visit the WorkFaith Connection website to learn more about the non-profit.